U.S. inflation rate in 1992: 3.01%

Inflation in 1992 and its effect on dollar value

$1 in 1991 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.03 in 1992. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 3.01% per year between 1991 and 1992, producing a cumulative price increase of 3.01%. Purchasing power decreased by 3.01% in 1992 compared to 1991. On average, you would have to spend 3.01% more money in 1992 than in 1991 for the same item.

This means that prices in 1992 are 1.03 times higher than average prices since 1991, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The 1991 inflation rate was 4.21%. The inflation rate in 1992 was 3.01%. The 1992 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 2.22% per year between 1992 and 2021.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1992 was 140.30. It was 136.20 in the previous year, 1991. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.

Inflation from 1991 to 1992
Average inflation rate 3.01%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.03
Price difference ($1 base) $0.03
CPI in 1991 136.200
CPI in 1992 140.300
Inflation in 1991 4.21%
Inflation in 1992 3.01%
$1 in 1991 $1.03 in 1992

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1991 to 1992 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $1):

Denver, Colorado experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1991 and 1992 (3.74%).

Seattle, Washington experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1991 and 1992 (0.00%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1991 would be equivalent to £1.04 in 1992, an absolute change of £0.04 and a cumulative change of 3.74%.

In Canada, CA$1.00 in 1991 would be equivalent to CA$1.02 in 1992, an absolute change of CA$0.02 and a cumulative change of 2.17%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.03 and total percent change of 3.01%.

Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. Breaking down these categories helps explain the main drivers behind price changes. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1991 and 1992.

Compare these values to the overall average of 3.01% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1991 → 1992
Food and beverages 1.40 1.40 1.01
Housing 2.91 2.91 1.03
Apparel 2.46 2.46 1.02
Transportation 2.19 2.19 1.02
Medical care 7.37 7.37 1.07
Recreation 0.00 0.00 1.00
Education and communication 0.00 0.00 1.00
Other goods and services 6.78 6.78 1.07

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1991. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1991 to 1992

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1991 and 1992:

CPI in 1992 CPI in 1991
1991 USD value
1992 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 136.2 in the year 1991 and 140.3 in 1992:


$1 in 1991 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.03 in 1992.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1991 and 1992, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1992 - CPI in 1991CPI in 1991
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

140.3 - 136.2136.2

Alternate Measurements of Inflation

The above data describe the CPI for all items. Also of note is the Core CPI, which measures inflation for all items except for the more volatile categories of food and energy. Core inflation averaged 3.66% per year between 1991 and 1992 (vs all-CPI inflation of 3.01%), for an inflation total of 3.66%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $1 in 1991 is equivalent in buying power to $1.04 in 1992, a difference of $0.04. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $1.03 with a difference of $0.03.

In 1991, core inflation was 4.91%.

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $1 in the S&P 500 index in 1991, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $1.42 in 1992. This is a return on investment of 42.16%, with an absolute return of $0.42 on top of the original $1.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for 2.92% of returns ($0.04) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $1 investment is $0.38. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $0 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1991-1992
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $1 $1.42 42.16%
Inflation Adjusted
$1 $1.38 38.01%

Information displayed above may differ slightly from other S&P 500 calculators. Minor discrepancies can occur because we use the latest CPI data for inflation, annualized inflation numbers for previous years, and we compute S&P price and dividends from January of 1991 to latest available data for 1992 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 1991 and 1992, see the stock market returns calculator.

News headlines from 1991

Politics and news often influence economic performance. Here's what was happening at the time:

  • The IRA launch a bomb attack on Downing Street, during a cabinet meeting.
  • America liberates Kuwait signalling the end of the first Gulf War.
  • Tim Berners-Lee releases files that describe the idea of the World Wide Web.
  • Pablo Escobar, a Colombian drug lord, surrenders to the police.
  • Boris Yeltsin becomes the first elected president of Russia.

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1665 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “Inflation Rate in 1992 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 9 May. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1992.

Special thanks to QuickChart for their chart image API, which is used for chart downloads.

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.

Ian Webster

About the author

Ian Webster is an engineer and data expert based in San Mateo, California. He has worked for Google, NASA, and consulted for governments around the world on data pipelines and data analysis. Disappointed by the lack of clear resources on the impacts of inflation on economic indicators, Ian believes this website serves as a valuable public tool. Ian earned his degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.

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» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 1991 to 1992
Average inflation rate 3.01%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.03
Price difference ($1 base) $0.03
CPI in 1991 136.200
CPI in 1992 140.300
Inflation in 1991 4.21%
Inflation in 1992 3.01%
$1 in 1991 $1.03 in 1992